What are ‘cookies’?
Cookies are small text files which are downloaded to a computer or mobile device when a website or application is visited. The web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) then sends these cookies back to the website or application on each subsequent visit so that they can recognise the user and remember things like personalised details or user preferences.
Cookies are very useful and do lots of different jobs which help to make the experience on websites as smooth as possible. For example, they let the user move between web pages efficiently, remembering preferences and generally improving the experience (see below for more examples). They can also help to ensure that the properties displayed are more relevant to the needs and criteria of the user.
Cookies are referred to as session or persistent, depending on how long they are used:
- Session cookies only last for the online session and disappear from a computer or device when the browser is closed.
- Persistent cookies stay on a computer or device after the browser has been closed and last for the period of time specified in the cookie. These persistent cookies are activated each time the site where the cookie was generated is visited.
The cookies used by Whitefield Estate Agents
When our Digital Channels are used, the following 4 categories of cookies may be set on the user’s device:
- ‘Strictly necessary’ cookies
These cookies are essential in helping movement around our websites and use their features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, certain services may not be provided. These cookies do not gather information that could be used for marketing and do not recall browser history on the internet.
Some examples of these essential cookies include:
- Remembering previous actions (such as text entered in a registration form) when navigating back to a page in the same session.
- Identifying the user as being signed into whitefieldestateagents.co.uk and keeping the user logged in throughout the visit.
- Functional cookies
These cookies allow websites and applications to remember choices made (such as the user name, language or location) and provide enhanced, more personal features. The information these cookies collect is usually anonymised which means we cannot identify the user. They do not gather any information about u or remembering where the user has been on the internet.
We use these types of cookies to improve experience on our Digital Channels. Some examples of how this is done are:
- Remembering if we’ve already asked the user to complete a survey or if one has been completed, to prevent duplication.
- Remembering if the user has been to the site before so that messages intended for first-time users are not displayed.
- Remembering when a product or article has been rated to prevent duplication during a visit.
- Supporting social media components, like Facebook or Twitter (where a website uses a plugin from these third party platforms, for example).
A list of the functional cookies used on Whitefield Estate Agents Digital Channels can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Analytics cookies
In order to keep Whitefield Estate Agents Digital Channels relevant, easy to use and up-to-date, we use web analytics services to help us understand how people use them. For example, we can see which parts of our Digital Channels are most popular, identify which properties have been viewed online, identify when errors occur and test different versions of a page or feature to see which one works best.
These web analytics services may be designed and operated by other companies on our behalf. They do this using small invisible images known as “web beacons” or “tracking pixels” that may be included on Whitefield Estate Agents Digital Channels. These are used to count the number of times something has been seen. These web beacons are anonymous and do not contain or collect any information that identifies you.
Cookies allow web analytics services to recognise a browser or device and, for instance, identify whether our Digital Channels have been visited before, what has previously been viewed or clicked on, and how a user found us. The information is anonymous and only used for statistical purposes. It allows us to track information, such as how many individual users we have and how often they visit our websites. It also helps us to analyse patterns of user activity and to develop a better user experience. For example, we might see that many people who viewed Property A also viewed Property B and we can then recommend Property B to everyone else who viewed Property A.
We use remarketing codes to log when users view specific pages, allowing us to provide targeted advertising in the future. This means that after visiting Whitefield Estate Agents you may find advertising banners on other websites associated with your browsing history. The technology behind these services is based on cookies. This is a service offered to suggest services which may be of interest. This is an anonymous service and no personal or identifiable information is recorded by this advertising method, however the user can opt out of these types of adverts and services at the following links: Opt out of Google Display Network retargeting
Web analytics data and cookies cannot be used to identify the user as they never contain personal information.
- Other third party cookies
Please note that on some pages of our websites it may be noted that cookies have been set that are not related to Whitefield Estate Agents. When a page is visited with content embedded from, for example, our YouTube customer videos, these service providers may set their own cookies on the web browser. These anonymous cookies may be set by that third party to track the success of their application or to customise their application. Whitefield Estate Agents do not control the use of these cookies and cannot access them, as cookies can only be accessed by the party who originally set them. The third party websites should be checked for more information about these cookies.
Commenting on Whitefield Estate Agents Digital Channels
Some of our websites allow comments about our Digital Channels to be left. One of the tools we use to enable comments on our websites is provided by a third party. In providing this service, they may set cookies on the web browser to track use of their commenting tool on Whitefield Estate Agents Digital Channels. To do this, they may use third-party analytics tools to help measure traffic and usage trends for their commenting tool on an anonymised and aggregate basis.
How to control cookies
However, there are various ways that these can be controlled and managed which are discussed in more detail below. Please note any settings that are changed will not just affect Whitefield Estate Agents cookies. These changes will apply to all websites visited (unless it is chosen to block cookies from particular sites).
Managing cookies in a browser
Most modern browsers will allow the user to:
- See the cookies the user has and allow them to be deleted on an individual basis
- Block third party cookies
- Block cookies from particular sites
- Block all cookies from being set
- Delete all cookies when you close your browser
The user should be aware that any preferences will be lost if cookies are deleted, including where the user has opted out from cookies, as this requires an opt-out cookie to be set. Blocking cookies completely will mean that many websites will not work properly and some functionality on these websites will be compromised. For this reason we do not recommend turning cookies off when using our Digital Channels.
To find out more about how cookies can be managed, follow the links below to the ‘Help’ sections for each of the major browsers:
- Internet Explorer
- Google Chrome
- Safari & Safari iOS
Managing analytics cookies
Please note that this will go to the relevant third party’s website and generate a ‘no thanks’ cookie, which will stop any further cookies being set by those third parties.
Once again, please note that by not allowing analytics cookies, we are unable to learn what the user likes or dislikes like about our Digital Channels and thus the user experience cannot be enhanced or improved.